By WMCActionNews5.com Staff
SHELBY COUNTY, TN (WMC) – The team tasked with helping Senator Lee Harris transition into Shelby County Mayor met for the first time Tuesday.
“I appreciate all of you because you represent a lot of different perspectives,” Harris said.
The team is made up of 46 members. The group discussed areas of focus and appointed seats in the county system.
Harris asked for the team to send qualified candidates for those positions.
The next step is to form committees.
“That gives me hope,” Harris said. “That gives me energy around what this report is going to look like and what kind of recommendations we’re going to get.”
Harris’ transition team is made up of Shelby County School Board members, community advocates, and Grizzlies former head coach Lionel Hollins as co-chair.
“If you’re in a leadership position, you have to help the followers become doers and help the doers become leaders,” Hollins said.
Members talked about their concerns and where they stand on topics like poverty, education, and the justice system.
Harris and his leadership team also talked about the more than 140 county-appointed positions.
They stressed some of those positions may already have qualified people in them.
Harris’ team also agreed that communication among different entities needs to be improved and he hopes this is a step in that direction.
“If you have those ongoing communications and that mutual respect and trust and you don’t sue your legislative branch, it makes for a much better chance of working out something that everybody will be happy with,” said Shelby County Commission Chairwoman Heidi Shafer.
Harris said working out something that will make everybody happy will be challenging.
But with this team, he’s hopeful they’ll come up with good ways to advance the community and bring in the right people to do just that.
“How do you corral all of these different folks, but there’s much more in terms of opportunity because there are so many ideas in this room,” Harris said.
Harris and his team have plans to put together committees based on the issues brought up at Tuesday’s meeting.
He said this transition process will likely last through the end of October, and the transition team plans to meet again August 28.
The team includes:
- Josh Spickler, Executive Director, Just City
- Kristine Roberts, Attorney, Baker Donelson
- Hari Surineni, Trustee, India Cultural Center & Temple
- Jason Wexler, President of Business Operations, Grizzlies
- Mike Ritz, Former Commissioner, Shelby County
- Rick Thompson, Business Manager, IBEW Local 1288 Union
- Joe Royer, Owner, Outdoors, Inc.
- Emily Fulmer, Community Activist
- Dale Lane, Division Director, Office of Preparedness
- Heidi Shafer, Commission Chairwoman, Shelby County
- Michelle McKissack, New Commissioner, Shelby County School Board
- John Freeman, Program Analyst
- Roquita Coleman, Member, MATA Board of Commissioners
- Derwin Sisnett, Founder, Maslow Development Inc
- Inés Negrette, Executive Director, CasaLuz
- Shante Avant, Board Chairwoman, Shelby County School Board
- Cato Johnson, Chief of Staff, Methodist Lebonheur Healthcare
- Stephanie Love, Vice Chairwoman, Shelby County School Board
- Charlie Caswell, Outreach Pastor, The House Memphis Church
- David Weatherspoon, Chaplain, LeBonheur Children’s Hospital
- Stephanie Reyes, Director of Development, OutMemphis
- Lori Turner-Wilson, CEO, RedRover Sales & Marketing
- Mark Billingsley, Commissioner, Shelby County
- Tosha Downey, Director of Advocacy, Memphis Education Fund
- Anthony Tate, President, Ashaun, LLC
- Cardell Orrin, Memphis City Director, Stand for Children
- Josh Lipman, Philanthropist
- Preston Butts Jr., CEO, Mem10 Consulting, LLC
- Lori Spicer Robertson, Chief Communications & Engagement Officer, United Way of the Mid-South
- Teddy Gorman, Director of Sales & Marketing, Gorham/Schaffler, Inc.
- Elizabeth Low, Attorney, FedEx
- Trey Carter, President, Olympic Career Training Institute
- Courtney Leon, Program Officer, Plough Foundation
- Janice A Banks, President & CEO, Small Planet Works
- Tommy Malone, President, Memphis Firefighter Association
- Kemp Conrad, Councilman, Memphis City Council
- Julia Kavanagh, Attorney, Hall Booth Smith, P.C.
- A C Wharton, former Mayor
- TaJuan Stout Mitchell, former City Councilwoman
- Walter Bailey, outgoing commissioner
- Gayle Rose, philanthropist
- Steve Cohen, U.S. Congressman
- Paul Morris, President of Jack Morris Auto Glass and former President of the Downtown Memphis Commission
- Lionel Hollins, former Memphis Grizzlies coach
- Danielle Inez, honorary co-chair
- Lee Harris, Shelby County mayor-elect